So here we are. It’s Monday again and I’m shattering this radio silence. I’m shattering it like a milk bottle in a tumble dryer filled with bricks. A great many things have happened over the last couple of weeks, none of which I might add were entirely planned. But as Helmuth von Moltke the Elder’s adage goes “no plan survives contact with the enemy.” Whether the enemy in question is myself remains a matter of debate. The lease on my old flat was due to expire at the end of February. Rather understandably I wanted to try and find a new place to live sooner rather than later. I had originally booked this coming week off from work to do house hunting, but a quick speculative jaunt to look at a flat 2 weeks ago, just to “get a feel” for the market again set wheels in motion. Terrifying, terrifying wheels. Now 2 weeks later I’m in a new flat, I’ve moved, I’ve unpacked, the internet is even up and running. So that’s a load off my mind, I can take a deep cleansing breath and no longer have to worry about my central nervous system tearing its way out of my body screaming “I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANY MORE! LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT!”
So that’s nice.
I don’t think anyone enjoys moving house. It is not only a massive, massive faff, but it is also an arduous and draining chore of exertion, logistics and nostalgia. There is something fundamentally depressing about packing all your worldly possessions into boxes. You find things you thought you’d lost, things you’d forgotten about, you come across things which bring back memories; both the good and the sort you rather wished had stayed buried. And then once it’s all done you have a towering heap of cardboard shells and you can’t help but think “Is this it? Is this what my life basically boils down to? A load of tat that I should really throw out and more books than are really easy to transport.” These are the sort of thoughts that unman, the sort of cold, dead thoughts that make you want to slump into a corner and start necking bottles of cheap imported spirits. And that’s before you even start to worry about the logistics of actually shifting it all. Oh if you’ve got a car I’m sure it’s really easy, but I don’t have a car, I can’t even drive. My parents live over 300 miles away and most of my friends a slightly closer, but still impractical 130. So my old landlady gave me a lift. Naturally once you arrive at a new place you then have to worry about unpacking and finding places for everything. I slept like a stone that night.
Of course such stress and exertion, especially at this time of year have their pitfalls, pitfalls filled with mucus and the globular oozing of traitorous nasal glands. A mere three days after moving in I was side-swiped by my good old friend the Human Rhinovirus, well I say friend, the guy’s a massive douchebag. What followed was half a week of manfully trying not to drown in my own snot, while I waited for a parade of visitors (two): An engineer to perform his strange and arcane techno-wizardries on my phone line so I could get the internet up and running and then for a courier to turn up with my modem, router and assorted talismans of data-transfer.
My bout of ague and dread lurgie was a nice ending bracket for the month of Novemeber. A month I started in a similar state , more or less forcing me to give NaNoWriMo a miss. A decision which, in retrospect, was almost prescient considering what was to come, events which would have more or less made its completion impossible.
So here I am. Settling into a new flat, a place which still doesn’t quite feel like home; a place which doesn’t yet smell of me; a place with a mattress that has yet to hammer out an equitable diplomatic solution with my spine; a place with domestic wonders I have been devoid of for so long that I had begun to think them merely myths. I have found that there are three lessons to take away from this entire experience:
1. Don’t move house. Just don’t it’s not worth it.
2. No book has anything resembling standard dimensions
3. If I’ve accumulated this much junk in just 8 years of adult living, immortality might have some previously unforeseen drawbacks.
Normal service now resumes. Well, whatever passes for normal on this blog at least.